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Skills check-off

What is a preceptor? In many learned skills, there is a process of aligning an individual who has much experience with another who is just starting out in the skill. During a specific period of time, the preceptor 'checks off' the 'newbie' on various skills required for the work at hand. The main purpose of the preceptor is to help the newbie add line upon line, precept upon precept, skill upon skill, until they are deemed able to perform the task at hand without constant oversight. We all look for 'mentors' from time to time in our lives - whether learning a new job, or just trying to learn a new hobby. There is no greater 'mentor' relationship one can have than that which mentors another in the 'skill' of being in a committed and growing relationship with Christ.

God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. (Titus 2:11-14)

Older men and women, well-established in their faith, being solid examples for younger men and women to look up to. Why is this important? It is because we learn best by the examples we can see, feel, and connect with frequently. God's readiness to give and forgive is public knowledge! Sometimes we think the things of God are hidden from us, but the scripture tells us differently - maybe because we don't want to see the truth that is right there. God is ready to give - sometimes we just have to be ready to receive! He is ready to forgive - sometimes we just have to be ready to repent! Sometimes the best way to realize this is to be mentored in a relationship that actually helps us to understand the truth we are not able to see ourselves.

This Christian experience is more than a moment-in-time experience. We grow fresh in our connection with Christ each day. We go through life "being shown" how to turn our backs on the old stuff of our sinful life and to embrace the good stuff of the life in Christ. The need for mentors or preceptors implies that we don't just "get it" alone - we need to be shown - we need examples. I know this is true for me - an example speaks louder than any words in the "instruction manual". I think that is why those 'put it together at home' furniture packages come with pictures, not just words!

A picture speaks louder than words! What we can perceive through observation cements the words to an actual lifestyle - seeing right choices lived out helps us understand the truths we may be struggling with that just don't seem to have connected with us yet. The preceptor takes it from being "ethereal" to being "real". We have been granted "leaders" in the church that help us make this connection. Yet, God is not stopping with the leaders - we also need to find good "mentors" - older men and women who can lead by example. I don't know who you have in your life that acts as a mentor or preceptor for you, but the truth is that you need someone! When we need to understand forgiveness, we benefit so much from the evidence of a lifestyle that shows the results of walking in forgiveness. To see another embrace forgiveness, despite the ugliness of their past sin, and then to walk in freedom that forgiveness produces allows us to "connect-the-dots" of God's grace, our repentance, and his restoration. 

Did you know that scripture says that we learn "line upon line, precept upon precept"? Yep, it does. Guess what another word for mentor is? Yep, you guessed it - preceptor! So, if we really want to learn what God has in store for us, we would do well to align ourselves with preceptors who can help us learn "line upon line, precept upon precept"! In turn, we become that preceptor to another who needs an example to follow. If you don't think of yourself as an example today, just wait - - - God is making each of us into the best example of his grace he desires for another to see! Just sayin!

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